Hydroxytyrosol (HT), the major phenolic compound in olive oil, is attracting increasing interest for its beneficial properties including a notable antioxidant and anti-inflammatory power. In this study, using a combination of biophysical and cell biology techniques, we have tested the role of HT in the formation of advanced glycation end-products (AGEs). AGEs have a key role in clinical sciences as they have been associated to diabetes, neurodegenerative and cardiovascular diseases. In addition, as the incidence of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is strongly increased in diabetic patients, AGE formation is supposed to be involved in the development of the pathological hallmarks of AD. Our data show that HT selectively inhibits protein glycation reaction in human insulin, and it is able to counteract the AGE-induced cytotoxicity in human neurotypical cells by acting on SIRT1 level and oxidative stress, as well as on inflammatory response. This study identifies new beneficial properties for HT and suggests it might be a promising molecule in protecting against the AGE-induced toxicity, a key mechanism underlying the development and progression of neurodegenerative disorders.
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